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Seagate Freeagent Backups --No More Free Space?


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#1 BarbaraC1977

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:21 PM

I recently purchased a Seagate FreeAgentGo 500GB drive. I was thrilled that it included an auto-backup utility that works very smoothly.

My free space on this large drive was disappearing RAPIDLY. :o I used a free tool that is fantastic, WinDirStat, to map the space usage on the drive, and was stunned to see the amount of space going to "History." I researched this on Seagate's site (not fun,) and then contacted their support via chat. Here's what I learned...

On your EHD, the backup that you designed goes into the Seagate Backup\ComputerName folder. So far so good. The FreeAgent backup software also creates a Seagate Backup\ComputerName\History folder, and it has subfolders Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, etc, all the way up to Level 10. These provide historical checkpoints so you could restore two, three, or four, etc levels older.

For the files you've designated as "to backup," the HISTORY folder ALSO stores a copy each time it backs up, if you've "touched" the file. I back up "Documents & Settings" since I want Desktop, My Docs and Application Data. Application Data includes things such as your Picasa database. For example, if you've done anything in Picasa since your last backup, the next backup includes another copy of its large database. Similarly for other applications.

Unfortunately, changing the number of History backups is not a user-revisable setting. Seagate has my input on that.

Action Plan
: when your Seagate FreeAgent drive and backups are losing free space too rapidly, check your Seagate Backup\ComputerName\History folder. Delete older (higher numbered) folders as you see fit. I just reclaimed over 130GB today, and did not delete quite all the levels. You could tweak your backup settings to exclude these Application Data files, but I think one, maybe two copies is useful.

I don't care for "surprises" to the user that are not particularly well-documented. The drive is still a great drive. Your mileage may vary; I hope this is helpful to some of you in your continuing goal to keep the important data backed up!

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#2 sunnie2004

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:29 PM

Wow Mine don't have a autoback up but also when I am done playing I shut mine down Barb. Seagate help told me to so it will save the life of the EHD. I just checked my whole computer for a back up but the only one I have is vista and silly me did that 2 days ago took me 10 dvd's to back up my system. It went back to the original settings when I bought my pc. I thougt it would do that I did not realize how much I had on this before I reformatted the thing LOL. I will remember though when I buy my next one to check for the auto back up and what you said!
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#3 MaryJo

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:00 PM

My first EHD was a Seagate 500. It was full within 3months and then crashed on me. I was devastated . My computer tech was able to retrieve everything at the cost of $300 !!! Ouch ! I bought a Blacx 1 tarabyte and I am thrilled with it. The company is great and their customer service is much better than Seagate.
Now I have tons of supplies and photos all on the EHD and I haven't put a dent in the thing yet... This is encouraging for me. But as you said its important to keep everything backed up
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#4 BarbaraC1977

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:11 PM

Oh, MaryJo, I'm so sorry you experienced that. Unfortunately, ALL disk drives, internal and external, can crash at some point. I worked in the disk drive industry for 18 years, designing magnetic materials for these gadgets, and I'm still astonished at what they can do. I'm glad your current drive is working well for you.

The real goal is for my friends here to have a better understanding of the auto-backup functionality, and how to live with it! I DO like auto-backup; I just got surprised.

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#5 mimes1

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:31 PM

I have a Seagate 750 and I use it without the autoback up. For those very reasons. Jo Corne turned me on to something called GoodSynch - it's an autoback up program that you control totally - no surprises. So I wiped my Seagate 100% clean, got the goodsynch, and now I am happy as can be. I use my 750 to back up everything from my two portable EHD's and it works great. www.goodsync.com will get you there. It costs about 30 bucks and virtually ended all my back up stress.

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#6 Smiles

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 05:33 PM

For those of you who haven't dropped in on one of April's Backup Party & Chats, you really ought to.
I've made 2, and learned an amazing amount.
I told her she should do a newsletter tutorial, but she said she just does the chats.
there are lots of ways to backup, and it never hurts to learn more.
Apologies if I've highjacked this thread.
:)
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#7 BarbaraC1977

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 05:54 PM

No problem, Gayle, and thanks for the suggestion, Amy. This way, we all learn something! :lovey-smilie:

And I could turn off the auto-backup, and add another program. April's right about many ways to accomplish this.

At least, I hope no one else gets so badly surprised about "How did all that space go away so quickly?"

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#8 lorac

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:38 AM

I have a Seagate 750 and I do my own backups on it, as I kept having problems with the automatic backup. Now I just copy my files to the EHD and they are safe. I also have two off-site backup systems: Carbonite and Moxy or is it Mozy. Carbonite still does not do EHD backups, but Mozy does so I went with them as well.

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#9 KimberlyRCade

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:30 PM

Barbara, thank you so much for starting this thread! I have a Segate 1TB hard drive and couldn't figure out why it seemed full all of a sudden (it backs up my desktop and my 250Gb external digi-scrap drive). I got rid of a few history levels and reclaimed over 250GB of space! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!
Happy New Year everyone!
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#10 jenrou

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:58 AM

I'm glad to see you all talking about Seagate drives. I had been just moving my files to the EHD, and decided to tinker with space on it.(before I read this) I put Seagate's software in a folder, and now my pc won't recognize it. I had just finished putting all of my scrap stash on it! Angie the angel let me re-download my stash, thank goodness. Now they are on dvd's and two other EHD's.

I think the files are still on it, but it can't read the Seagate files. Who knows?? I don't know how to get into it now. I wonder if the other program would read it if my pc won't. :hit-head-with-hammer:
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#11 jenrou

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:56 PM

I finally gave up on retrieving my files from my Seagate, and it allowed me to format the drive so I could use it. I am putting files on it, copies, zips, etc. but it won't be my ONLY copy of things anymore. I don't trust the EHDs anymore. Call me a skeptic. I trust dcd's more and will eventually figure another way to get my main stash off of my pc. The pc is pretty good with one program open, but I can't have Picasso and PSE 9 open at the same time. I've had to rebuild my whole scrapping database twice this last month. Once I accidently deleted it, and once the EHD files were currupted.
I've notice things are scattered and some files changed since I've been moving them around. Picasso is really scrambled with several copies of each thing.
I think a strong Mac is in the future for me sometime.
I am using PSE 9, on a Win 7, with 4 mg ram. I do intend to upgrade the ram.
Thanks for all of the information.
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